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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  22 reviews
From the back cover:

"Even in paradise revolutions can be inconvenient things.

A week ago, Desma Johnson had only two things on her mind. In exactly eight days, she would be sixteen years old. And, to top it off, she was in line for a top scholarship, bringing her one step closer to her dreams. Life was perfect and nothing would get in the way of her birthday plans. But its
Paperback, 175 pages
Published September 15th 2017 by Blouse & Skirt Books
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  44 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: black-authors
I think Girlcott would be extremely accessible to tweens and teens as a path to discussing the history of segregation and the importance on non-violent resistance. Despite the heavy content, the tone of the book is very light and it is a quick, enjoyable read with a strong message. Set in 1959 Bermuda, Girlcott is the story of Desma, a black teen girl planning her 16'th birthday party, complete with a sleepover and trip to the cinema, when an anti-segregation boycott threatens to ruin all her pl ...more
I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Actual rating 3.5

The history behind this story is unfortunately more interesting than the story itself. Whilst there are parts of the book that are well fleshed out, like Desma (who I love) and the theatre boycott itself, there was too much that just wasn't explored enough. This is partly because the book is very short (only 175 pages) and there isn't enough room to fully explore the supporting characters.

It's fairly well w
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Between 3.5 and 4. Great themes that are sadly still important today and lost on so many. It's great that this is YA and intended to stir that age group into not simply accepting things as they are, but to really examine and question societal norms, attitudes, laws, etc. The protagonist is well-written and feels authentically sixteen, which is not something that can often be said in YA. The secondary characters could've been a little more fleshed out. Some smaller plot points seemed to have fizz ...more
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Easy and enjoyable read which sheds light on an obscured piece of Caribbean history. But most importantly a reminder to everyone to be anything but a bystander. Desma's voice feels authentic and the dialogue is lively and comical. The characters are also believable just wish we got more of the Wallaces. Although they were an acidic bunch I really enjoyed them. I did this book with a teen book club and it was well-received.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
OMG! This engaging YA historical fiction novel exceeded my expectations! I was unaware of Bermuda's history of segregation before so Florenz Webbe Maxwell continues to right wrongs!
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it
One of my big passions in reading is finding reasonably obscure YA novels, especially diverse ones that also come under the heading of historical fiction. In Girlcott, I found something to satisfy all these needs.

Set in the Bahamas in 1959, Girlcott tells the story of a real-life boycott which was aimed at ending racial segregation. Our main figure in the story is sixteen year old Desma, who is looking forward both to her birthday celebrations and the scholarship which will give her a chance to
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Was given this book by a Catholic priest who lived in Bermuda. The author is a friend/parishioner. It's a Young Adult book about a theatre boycott in 1959 in Bermuda. The book is fiction - places, characters, and incidents are from the author's imagination, but SEGREGATION was real in Bermuda. Unlike other countries, there was no laws on the book legislating segregation, yet, churches, schools, clubs, the hospitals remained segregated because they were considered private. According to the author ...more
Ginny Lurcock
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oh goodness, this was such a good and important book.

I can never know what it's like to be a black woman. That's just the nature of life. I will never know how it feels to be looked down on for the color of my skin. To have doors closed in my face. For people to act as if I was not human. But, by reading well-written books by black women about black characters and the struggles they face, I can get a glimpse of what they've gone through.

Girlcott is a stunning example of this. By reading through
Michelle Kidwell
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing


by Florenz Webbe Maxwell

Blue Banyan Books

Blouse & Skirt Books
Historical Fiction , Teens & YA

Pub Date 15 Sep 2017

I am reviewing a copy of Girlcott through Blue Banyan Books/Blouse & Skirt Books and Netgalley:

Just a week and a day ago Desma Johnson had only two things on her mind, in eight days she would be sixteen and she was inline for a top scholarship getting her closer to her dream. But it's 1959 and the Secret Progressive League has announced that they were going to Boycott all cine
Sara Westhead
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent read for middle and high school students! Mrs. Maxwell's tale brings to an important moment in Bermuda's history to life through the eyes of (almost) 16 year old Desma, who suddenly and harshly has her eyes open to the racial segregation she's been experiencing her whole life, but did not realize it because it was the 'norm'.

This book should be required reading of ALL children in Bermuda, and is highly recommended for anyone interested in the battle for racial equality in the British
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A coming of age story told in the voice of sixteen-year-old Desma sheds light on desegregation in Bermuda during the year 1959. This story was certainly relatable to students of United States history and particularly poignant during our country's current events. Desma vascillates between a focus on ehr upcoming birthday and the resulting party, her schooling and intended career, and a growing awareness of her place, real and percieved, in the world.

Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to r
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
When I was little Mrs. Maxwell came to my school to tell us Bermudian folk tales. I’m so glad she finally wrote her own story. I loved it. It perfectly captures some of the ideals and thoughts of that time. In some ways the mindsets have not changed much. That fear or expectation that black Bermudians be satisfied no matter how raw of a deal they are getting is still present today. Definitely told in Maxwell’s very unique and very Bermudian voice it was a joy to read.
Debbie Jacob
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Florenz Webbe Maxwell's award-winning historical fiction account of a boycott in the Bahamas is an action-packed, tension-filled story of a teenage girl caught up in the social issues emerging in her country. The author provides information about how the US Civil Rights movement affected the Caribbean in a gripping novel that is a welcome addition to the canon of Caribbean YA fiction.
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Although this novel is listed as a young adult novel I believe it is a must read for all Bermudians, young and old. I knew very little about the Bermuda Theatre Boycott of 1959 until I read this novel. It is an excellent read. The subject is quite disturbing. We’ve come a long way Bermuda ...
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Though this was a young adult read, I thoroughly enjoyed the story based on the Theatre Boycott in Bermuda. As a Bermudian, it was interesting to gain insight about segregation in Bermuda and the dynamics leading up to the Boycott told through the lens of historical fiction.
Rebecca Farren
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley-arc
This history is important to tell--the rarely told story of race relations in Bermuda. Desma is a character who is full of life so I was interested in her story. Unfortunately the plot was a bit basic--I wanted more, especially from the supporting characters. This novel seems like a good fit for upper elementary or middle grade readers who are interested in history.
(Source: eARC from NetGalley)
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Despite writing an entire dissertation on Caribbean literature, I'm unfortunately not as well-versed in Caribbean history as I'd like to be. Which is why I had no idea about the historic Bermudian theatre boycott until I stumbled upon this book.

There was a lot that I enjoyed about the book. I loved the protagonist, Desma, and her personality. I thought she was incredibly realistic in that she cared far more about her 16th birthday party than desegregation. Or even that she seemed ignorant about
Michelle Frumkin
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Girlcott tells the story of the 1959 Theatre Boycott in Bermuda, a grass roots rebellion aimed at ending racial segregation on the island. The highly secretive Progressive Group leads the boycott of the theatre, where blacks and whites have separate seating areas. The loss of business means a huge loss in revenue, but the goals go beyond simple dollars and cents. The idea is to end segregation on this superficially island paradise.

The novel, aimed at young adults, is told through the eyes of her
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enticing read. It was nice to read about a teenager from a different culture (than mine). Love the main character, she had a strong voice. This book tackled some very important issues like segregation and the civil rights movement, still very relevant nowadays.
Jessica Hatrick
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Sep 08, 2018
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Jan 01, 2018
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